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Exagen Diagnostics Inc. Partners with Medco Research Institute® to Develop NIMBLE Personalized Medicine Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Date:5/23/2011

tabolized by the patient.  With this information, a physician can more accurately adjust the dose of MTX, making it more effective for the patient.

"Molecular tests, like Avise PG, can help make prescribing more precise by providing information that tells the physician which dose, or even which medication, will work best for an individual patient.  This is especially important when the next-in-line therapy is a biologic medication that can cost a patient and payor significantly more, and may come with additional negative side-effects," said Felix Frueh, Ph.D., president, Medco Research Institute. "The findings we observe through the NIMBLE pilot will be an important step in understanding the value of testing like this, and may bring us closer to making this testing standard practice for RA patients."

Medco Research Institute will work with Medco clients to recruit patients to take part in the NIMBLE pilot program.  When a member of the participating plans receives an initial prescription for MTX for the treatment for RA, Medco will provide the prescribing physician with the Avise PG test, and patients will be alerted that a blood-draw for the Avise PG test will be performed at their next office visit.

Once the physician's office has collected the blood sample, it will be sent to Exagen Diagnostics' CLIA-certified laboratory for testing. Exagen will provide the test results to the prescribing physician to make dose changes accordingly, and to Medco Research Institute.  

It is anticipated that up to 400 Medco members who are new to MTX therapy will have the Avise PG testing performed. The downstream medical and pharmacy claims data from these patients will be compared to a similar number of Medco members who did not received Avise PG testing as part of their care in order to determine the clinical utility and cost effectiveness of this intervention.

"We are very pleased to part
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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